The Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs is warning prospective tenants about a rental scam.

Prospective landlords and tenants are being warned about a rental scam popular on Craigslist and elsewhere.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • You can verify the owner of a property by contacting the County Clerk’s Office where the property is located. If it comes up under a different name, it’s a sign that a legitimate landlord’s ad has been hijacked.
  • Do not wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee or first month’s rent. Wiring money is like sending cash.
  • If you can’t see the place before signing a lease, walk away from the deal. You may not be dealing with a legitimate property owner or the place might not even exist
  • If the prospective landlord or tenant claims to be out of the country, they may very well be…and they may be a scammer. Scammers have been known to offer to get you keys through a lawyer or agent.
  • Never forward a check for more than the agreed upon price. If you are asked to wire the excess to a third party for shipping or other expenses. This is a scam.

Remember if it seems to good to be true, it's likely a scam. Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.